Monday, January 02, 2012


Rummaging through some old files the other day (Parisian winters are notorious for inspiring such mindless domesticity), I happened upon a crumpled sketch by my good friend David Schoffman.

 My hardened heart was momentarily stilled at this magical aide-mémoire. It quickly brought me back to that distant quarter of my misspent, dissipated youth.

It was 1980 and David and I were retracing Delacroix's 1832 sojourn through North Africa (or something equally noble and ridiculous). We were staying at the now derelict Hotel-De-Saint Longinus whose long lost luster had something to do with Jimi Hendrix and was always a favorite among drug addled exiles. It was winter in Essaouira and the Atlantic coast was beautiful. 

A quick search on the internet - keywords: Morocco, noir, sheesha, Gnawas - yielded the spectral snapshot below:

Quartier El Fath, Essaouira, Morocco

As far as the inscription on Schoffman's drawing -  semel in ano licet insanire*  - it was, after all New Years so I suppose it speaks for itself.

*Once a year you're allowed to go crazy